Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
Key terms for Antique and Vintage Longines Wristwatches:
Chronograph: A watch that also records time intervals, like a stopwatch.
Chronometer: A watch that has been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute not to lose more than four seconds per day, nor to gain more than six.
Escapement: A device that converts the pressure of a spring or coil into a fixed release of movement.
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All Systems Go! It's Longines FEI World Cup Finals Time!Huffington Post UK, April 18th
It's Longines FEI World Cup Finals Time! Posted: 18/04/2014 18:27. Follow. France, Sport, Fei World Cup, Horse Riding, Horses, Lyon, Showjumping, UK Sport News. Get UK Sport Newsletters: Subscribe. I've been competing since 1976 and have been lucky ...Read more
Baselworld 2014: Walter von Känel plays the long gameWorld Tempus, April 15th
Under Walter von Känel's 25-year leadership, Longines has become one of the top five Swiss watch brands and now produces more than one million watches per year, accounting for well over a billion Swiss francs of the Swatch Group's revenue. Walter von ...Read more
Longines Men's L47204112 Presence Watch Online Now at SeeTips.comPR Web (press release), April 15th
Recently, SeeTips.com, a well-known high quality fashion products provider, has launched its new product, Longines Men's L47204112 Presence Watch. (http://www.seetips.com/archives/5139). Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share ...Read more
Longines Elegant collection, ref. L4.309.5.88.7 and L4.309.0.87.6World Tempus, March 31st
Since its earliest days, Longines has always focused on elegance. This quality can be found not only in its products but also in its communication, with the now famous slogan "Elegance is an attitude". Longines presents today the Longines Elegant...Read more
Longines Heritage 1935 | First LookstupidDOPE.com, March 31st
Timepieces can say a lot about the person wearing it. From fashion sense to personality, a lot can be gathered from ones selection of timepiece. Today the good folks over at Longines are back, giving us a first look at their latest stunning design, the...Read more
Longines saddles up with Australian Turf ClubSportsPro Media, March 31st
Luxury watch brand Longines has signed a long-term deal with the Australian Turf Club (ATC) to sponsor a number of top horse races Down Under. Under the agreement the company will sponsor the richest race during The BMW Sydney Carnival and The ...Read more
Longines to partner Australian Turf ClubYahooXtra Blogs (blog), March 28th
Luxury watch brand Longines will sponsor the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the richest race of the Sydney autumn carnival. The Australian Turf Club announced on Saturday the naming rights and sponsorship was part of an extensive deal between the ...Read more
Conquest Heritage 1954-2014World Tempus (press release), March 27th
Baselworld - To mark the 60th anniversary of the registration of the Conquest name, Longines inroduces the Conquest Heritage 1954-2014, a selection of timepieces based on the first Conquest watches. Dial detail of Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 ...Read more